California student banned from wearing MAGA hat at school
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The clothes we wear speak to our personality, socioeconomic status, religion, and political views.

Politics and fashion have always been closely intertwined as they often inform each other.

“There’s the politics on your phone and the politics on your street. And yeah, there’s the politics of your clothes,” the late fashion designer Virgil Abloh told Vogue in 2020.

There is perhaps no better modern-day example than the famous MAGA hat coined by Trump.

When people see a wide-brim bright red hat they often assume the person wearing it is a Trump supporter, even if those famous words are not written on it.

But even without the mark of a distinct red hat, there’s something about a conservatives' choice in clothing that screams “I’m a conservative”.

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The fashion of the right-wingers ranges, just as anything does.

Some may associate conservatives with cut-off jeans shorts, cowboy boots, white sleeveless tank tops, or a big graphic t-shirt that says “I love America”.

Trump supporters at a rally in Alabama in August 2021 Getty Images

Those people may approach fashion with a the same laissez-faire attitude as the Republican party.

If they want to wear a t-shirt covered in Trump’s face, by God they’re going to do it

Trump supporters wear his face on t-shirts at a rally Getty Images

But others associate conservative fashion with boat shoes, khaki shorts, polo shirts, printed straight-line dresses, and quarter zips.

According to a YouGov poll conducted alongside The Guardian, Republicans favor structured legacy designers like Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, Brooks Brothers, or Hermès.

Supporters of George W. Bush at a rally in 2004 Getty Images

This preppy look combines upscale style with modest dressing.

These styles exist simultaneously because each one has been influenced by political figures and movements for different groups of people who share the same ideology.

So when it comes to dressing for success, politicians have to make calculate decisions about the clothes they wear.

Presenting: Expensive, ill-fitting suits

What better way to tap into two demographics of people then combining them and then wearing a $6,000 ill-fitted suit?

According to the New York Times, Donald Trump likes his suits off-the-rack from Brioni, an Italian luxury brand. They retail from $4,000 to $11,500.

“He wears very expensive suits,” Shao Yang founder of The Tailory told the Times. “But I don’t think he’s very modern with his dress. It’s making him look a lot shorter and a lot wider.

That he does.

Donald Trump's famously ill-fitted suits are supposedly by Italian menswear Brioni Getty Images

In a 2017 essay, Ezra Paul Lizio-Katzen, owner of menswear store Ezra Paul Clothing, speculated that the former president may have widened the shoulders of his jackets to hide excess weight on his stomach.

It’s definitely possible given the former president chooses to wear obnoxiously long ties to give himself a ‘slimming effect’.

But in turn, Trump looks older when he chooses to wear massive suits and ties.

Trump surely did not invent the massive suit and tie look (take 2012 Paul Ryan for example) but he popularized it for sure.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is rumored to be planning a run for president in 2024, has notably taken a page from Trump’s book when it comes to dressing for success.

Wearing a suit that is somehow too big and too small, DeSantis is trying to appeal to both voters who care, and don't care, about fashion.

That's all that matters at the end the day - appealing to voters to win elections.

So embodying conservative values through fashion is equally as important to the words the politicians speak. Often, this means conservative fashion does not change nearly as frequently as liberal fashion.

After all, conservatives value traditionalism.

A determination to remain stagnant

Conservatives' lack of change in style is why President Joe Biden seems hip wearing aviators despite being 79.

As soon as Nancy Reagan wore red more than once it became the 'Reagan Red' uniform and to this day inspires women of the Republican party.

"She knew what worked for her, and that was a bold, unapologetic, glamorous but strong color that couldn't be missed," Micmagazine wrote about Reagan in 2016.

While Reagan had her own reason for wearing red, its legacy has impacted conservative women by imploring them to wear a red dress in solidarity with tradition.

Melanie Trump and Barbra Bush wearing the 'Reagan Red' Getty Images

But like most conservative fashion, the staple Reagan Red dress also comes with caveats- like modesty.

The three shirt rule

Conservatives tend to dress... well, conservative.

This means right-wing broadcasters or politicians are more likely to be publicly shamed for wearing sleeveless shirts, short hemlines, or tight pants.

There's no better example than in 2020 when Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former advisor to. Trump and fiancée to Donald Trump Jr., wore a tight red dress to the Republican National Convention.

Conservatives find security in modesty and no one knows modesty better than former White House advisor Steve Bannon.

At any given time, no matter the temperature or occasion, the far-right conspiracy theorist perpetrator wears multiple shirts.

And this goes beyond the undershirt and button-down combination.

According to a 2017 article from The Cut, Bannon has been sporting his 3+ shirt style possibly since prep school as it was a popular style back then.

It may be the notion that more clothing means more conservative values or it could be a lack of change in Bannon’s brain - either way he never leaves the house with less than three shirts on.

What do shirts say about Steve Bannon? A source told The Cut: “He’s always got a contingency plan. If one shirt gets ruined, put the next one on. If one pen dies? Just use another pen.”

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